-Helping Executives Make Better People Decisions Since 1980-
To Make A Difference In Our Clients' Businesses
Manager And Executive Coaching
Executive coaching is a personal and professional development process for your managers. Through a one-on-one relationship with the executive coach, it helps an executive or manager develop his or her skills. Executives often ask for coaching to help develop high-potential managers and to help a newly-hired manager or executive to make a successful transition into the company. Coaching can also be used when some performance problems have been seen that need attention. Coaching provides an opportunity for a manager to look at behavioral issues and attitudes that are important to his/her performance and career in an objective and professional way. Dr. Lakin brings his background in clinical and organizational psychology to help facilitate this process.
WHAT IS EXECUTIVE COACHING?
Executive coaching is an ongoing relationship between a manager or executive and the coach. It involves a commitment that can run as long as a year with frequent one-on-one coaching meetings, assessment, feedback from others, and focused performance counseling and monitoring. The "coach" often acts as messenger, teacher, facilitator, priest, and sometimes, provocateur to create change. It is an active process of listening and working together in a focused manner. Coaching provides an opportunity for a manager to explore in an objective and professional way those issues, attitudes, and behaviors that are important to his/her performance and career.
WHEN IS EXECUTIVE COACHING USEFUL?
Sometimes high-potential managers or executives can benefit from a personalized development program. They can grow faster through the focus and intensity of a one-on-one program. At other times, a manager or executive has a performance problem that is not likely to respond to a workshop or "charm school." Yet, that manager is talented. He or she is an asset that the company wants to keep and develop. Such situations are ideal for executive coaching.
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THE EXECUTIVE COACHING PROCESS
WHAT IS THE EXECUTIVE COACHING PROCESS?
The assessment process can involve discussions with superiors, peers, and subordinates. It may involve an objective "360-degree Survey" instrument as a source of initial information and an excellent standard for assessing progress in the measurement stage. Personality and style tests may also be used to learn as much as possible about an individual.
The results of the assessment process are shared in the feedback step. Sometimes the feedback can be gentle and help the individual accept the need for change. In such cases, it is fairly easy to gain a psychological contract between the manager and the psychologist to work on specific issues, but sometimes feedback is hard to hear. Sometimes the feedback process must be direct and almost confrontational to awake the individual to the seriousness of a problem and to provoke the manager into action. Ideally, such "tough love" is not the desired approach, but in reality, it is not uncommon. In such cases, the coaching role can be passed to others if the manager blames the "messenger". In those situations, the psychologist often becomes the coach's coach.
The next three steps involve determining actions, encouraging through the process, and measuring results. Usually, the coach will meet monthly with the executive. These meetings are face-to-face and additional communication can be done over the phone. The goal is to keep the executive focused and involved in making personal changes. The measurements are also intended to reinforce positive change while pointing out possible trouble areas.
Finally, the coaching relationship must end. The executive must learn to fish, as the old proverb goes. At this point, the coaching role changes to teaching the executive how to continue the learning process without direct coaching. Sources of learning and personal support are identified. Short and long term needs are identified. The goal is to help the manager commit to the concept of continuous personal and professional development. Through the process of talking, listening, gentle nudging, looking at results, and occasionally pushing in the right direction, change is possible.
Dr. Lakin was very helpful in selecting individuals to be promoted and hired for key executive positions in IDEX, a company that became a well-oiled machine with a record of significant success. With his assistance, IDEX put together and maintained a diverse cadre of executives who worked as a cohesive team, treating one another with dignity and respect, upholding high ethical standards and accomplishing great things. We relied heavily on Dr. Lakin’s evaluations and counsel in recruiting, assessing, elevating and retaining key people at the business unit and corporate levels.
Donald Boyce, former Chairman and CEO